TreeBlaskted Oak

Arrow Making Tutorial

  1. Shafts
  2. Feathers
  3. Nocks & Points
  4. Tools
  5. Shaft Preperation
  6. Lacquering
  7. Nocking
  8. Fletching
  9. Tipping

Medieval Arrows


Medieval Style Arrows

Nocks: The most obvious difference is the nock; medieval nocks were cut directly into the wood of the shaft, in two different styles. The earlier style merely had a slot wide enough for the string (around the width of three hacksaw blades) sawed into the end of the shaft perpendicular to the grain of the wood. To increase strength, linen, silk string, or sinew would be wrapped tightly around the shaft at the base of the nock. The second style of nock came later, and is the type found on the arrows recovered from the Mary Rose. This style is made by first cutting a slot along the grain and inserting a piece of horn, then filing the excess down and then cutting the nock again perpendicular to the grain. Bone slivers are relatively hard to obtain, so hardwood makes a good substitute. This inset piece of harder material would strengthen the nock and make wrapping the shaft unnecessary. In both cases, the nock must be filed to the profile desired.

Fletching: Since medieval glues were not very strong, fletching was initially glued on and then tied on with thin silk or linen thread. To do this, begin by wrapping the string around the shaft below the start of the feathers (the end of the feathers furthest from the nock) continue wrapping tightly until you have covered the start of the feathers. Once the start of the feather is covered, begin wrapping in a helical pattern, placing the string through the sections of the feathers. Continue this way with even spacing until you reach the top of the feathers then begin wrapping the stop of the feather tightly moving off the feathers and continuing for a bit on the shaft. Tie off your string, and soak the top and bottom wrappings in glue.



Copyright © 2008-2010 Naomi Hampson.